Key interests and achievements

Dawn’s main sporting interest is football. She has been a lifelong supporter of her home town team, Bristol City, and still travels to games there when time allows. However, she is also a season ticket holder of Merthyr Town FC and has a keen interest in most local sports in her constituency.

Travel is another one of Dawn’s leisure interests, particularly if it involves being in Italy. Her love of Italy started with a school trip there was she was just 12 years old. She honeymooned there and has spent many holidays in different parts of the country.

Along with Dawn’s love of Italy comes a love of Italian food.
In her spare time, Dawn also likes to read, listen to music and spend time with her family who are spread across south Wales, north Wales and the west of England.

Personal history

Dawn was born and brought up in Bristol, very much the product of a traditional working class family whose parents were both trade unionists and Labour Party members. She has one brother.

Dawn attended St Bernadette’s Catholic Secondary School and studied to GCSE level. After leaving school, she attended Soundwell Technical College where she gained qualifications in secretarial, business studies and law. She later qualified for the Institute of Leadership and Management Diploma through study with the TUC.

In 1989, Dawn moved to south Wales where her two sons were born, educated, brought up and still live and work. She has been married to Martin since 2011.

Professional background

Dawn’s first job after leaving college was as secretary to the Regional Managing Director of Guest Keen and Nettlefold Distributors in Bristol.

She moved from there to work as a medical secretary in the NHS before spending a brief period of time working as a Local Government officer. It was during these years of employment in the public sector that Dawn became actively involved with her trade union NALGO (later to become UNISON).

At the age of just 23, Dawn was appointed as a full-time Branch Organiser for NALGO working with the union’s NHS membership in Bristol. In 1989, she moved to south Wales to become the youngest and first female District Officer in the area. She rose through the ranks of her union to become the UNISON Cymru/Wales Head of Health, a position she held up to her election as Assembly Member for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney in May 2016. She counts amongst her proudest achievements leading on the negotiations that delivered the Living Wage into NHS Wales in 2014.

In her union roles, Dawn was an advocate, negotiator, public speaker and campaigner for members working primarily in the public sector services of Local Government, Health, and Higher and Further Education, as well as the privatised utilities of gas, water and electricity and the voluntary sector. She also had management responsibility for a large team of UNISON organisers covering mid and south east Wales.

Dawn worked with a number of organisations representing her union, including the NHS Wales Partnership Forum, Local Government NJC for Wales and the Welsh Government Workforce Partnership Council. She regularly attended and spoke at the Wales TUC and Welsh Labour Party Conferences as a UNISON delegate.

Political history

Dawn joined the Labour Party in l983. She is also a member of the Socialist Health Association and a member of the Public Services union, UNISON.

Her political views were shaped by her upbringing and by parents who were both trade unionists and Labour Party members.

During the miners’ strike of l984-85, Dawn worked with the South West TUC to collect both money and food to support the south Wales miners.

It was the miners’ strike and other industrial unrest during the 1980sthat drove her into politics. She joined CND in l984 and in April l986 won a by-election in the then Conservative-held ward of Staple Hill to become a Labour Councillor in Kingswood District Council at the age of just 26. Dawn served on the Policy, Housing, Personnel (Shadow Chair), Environmental Health and Planning Committees.

Dawn has served as a local authority nominated school governor for Labour in both secondary and primary schools and was also a Labour Community Councillor in Pontyclun where she was living prior to her election as Assembly Member in Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney. She also stood as the Labour candidate for Pontyclun ward of Rhondda Cynon Taff Council in 2004.

Dawn has regularly attended and spoken at both Welsh Labour and UK Labour party conferences.

 

Prif ddiddordebau a llwyddiannau

 

Pêl-droed yw diddordeb pennaf Dawn. Mae’n gefnogwr hir oes o’i thref enedigol, Bristol City, ac mae’n dal i deithio i’w gweld yn chwarae pan mae amser yn caniatáu. Mae ganddi docyn tymor gyda Chlwb Pêl-droed Merthyr Town hefyd, ac mae ganddi ddiddordeb yn y rhan fwyaf o gampau chwaraeon yn ei hetholaeth.

 

Teithio yw diddordeb arall Dawn, yn enwedig i’r Eidal. Cwympodd mewn cariad â’r wlad honno ar drip ysgol pan oedd hi’n 12 oed. Yno y treuliodd ei mis mêl, ac mae wedi bod ar wyliau ym mhob cwr o’r wlad.

 

Mae ganddi ddiddordeb angerddol mewn bwyd Eidalaidd hefyd.

Yn ei hamser hamdden, mae Dawn yn hoffi darllen, gwrando ar gerddoriaeth a threulio amser yng nghwmni ei theulu ledled de a gogledd Cymru, a gorllewin Lloegr.

 

Hanes personol

Cafodd Dawn ei geni a’i magu ym Mryste, i deulu dosbarth gweithiol traddodiadol â’r ddau riant yn undebwyr llafur ac yn aelodau o’r Blaid Lafur. Mae ganddi un brawd.

 

Aeth i Ysgol Uwchradd Gatholig St Bernadette ac astudio i lefel TGAU. Ar ôl gadael ysgol, aeth i Goleg Technegol Soundwell gan ennill cymwysterau ysgrifenyddol, astudiaethau busnes a’r gyfraith. Yn ddiweddarach, cafodd Ddiploma’r Sefydliad Arweinyddiaeth a Rheolaeth wrth astudio gyda’r TUC.

 

Ym 1989, symudodd i dde Cymru lle cafodd ei dau fab eu geni, eu haddysgu a’u magu, ac maen nhw’n dal i fyw a gweithio yma. Mae’n briod â Martin ers 2011.

 

Cefndir proffesiynol

Swydd gyntaf Dawn ar ôl gadael coleg oedd fel ysgrifenyddes i Reolwr Gyfarwyddwr Rhanbarthol cwmni Guest Keen and Nettlefold Distributors ym Mryste.

 

Wedyn, aeth ymlaen i weithio fel ysgrifenyddes feddygol gyda’r GIG cyn treulio cyfnod byr fel swyddog Llywodraeth Leol. Y blynyddoedd hyn o weithio i’r sector cyhoeddus sbardunodd ddiddordeb Dawn yn ei hundeb llafur NALGO (UNSAIN bellach).

 

A hithau ond yn 23 oed, cafodd Dawn ei phenodi’n Drefnydd Cangen llawn amser ar gyfer undeb NALGO gan weithio gydag aelodaeth o’r GIG ym Mryste. Ym 1989, symudodd i dde Cymru i fod y Swyddog Ardal ieuengaf yno – a’r fenyw gyntaf erioed i ddal y swydd. Datblygodd drwy rengoedd ei hundeb i fod yn Bennaeth Iechyd UNSAIN Cymru/Wales, a dyna oedd ei swydd tan iddi gael ei hethol yn Aelod Cynulliad Merthyr Tudful a Rhymni ym mis Mai 2016. Mae’n dweud mai llywio’r trafodaethau a arweiniodd at gyflwyno’r Cyflog Byw i’r GIG yng Nghymru yn 2014 yw ei thestun balchder mwyaf.

 

Wrth weithio gyda’r undeb, bu Dawn yn eiriolwr, yn drafodwr, yn siaradwraig gyhoeddus ac ymgyrchydd dros aelodau oedd yn gweithio yn y sector cyhoeddus yn bennaf – llywodraeth leol, iechyd, addysg bellach ac uwch, yn ogystal â’r cyfleustodau wedi’u preifateiddio sef nwy, dŵr a thrydan, a’r sector gwirfoddol. Hefyd, bu’n gyfrifol am dîm mawr o drefnwyr UNSAIN yn ardaloedd y Canolbarth a’r De-ddwyrain.

 

Mae Dawn wedi gweithio gyda nifer o sefydliadau sy’n cynrychioli ei hundeb, gan gynnwys Fforwm Partneriaeth y GIG yng Nghymru, Cydgyngor Cenedlaethol Llywodraeth Leol dros Gymru, a Chyngor Partneriaeth y Gweithlu Llywodraeth Cymru. Bu’n mynychu ac yn annerch cynadleddau TUC Cymru a Phlaid Lafur Cymru fel cynrychiolydd UNSAIN.

 

Hanes gwleidyddol

Ymunodd Dawn â’r Blaid Lafur ym 1983. Mae hefyd yn aelod o’r Gymdeithas Iechyd Sosialaidd ac undeb y gwasanaethu cyhoeddus, UNSAIN.

 

Cafodd ei safbwyntiau gwleidyddol eu siapio gan ei magwraeth a’i rhieni a oedd yn undebwyr ac aelodau o’r Blaid Lafur.

 

Yn ystod streic y glowyr 1984-85, bu Dawn yn gweithio gyda TUC De Cymru i gasglu bwyd a chefnogi glowyr y De.

 

Streic y glowyr ac anghydfodau diwydiannol eraill yn ystod yr 1980au a’i sbardunodd i wleidydda. Ymunodd â CND ym 1984, ac ym 1986, enillodd isetholiad ward Staple Hill o ddwylo’r Ceidwadwyr a dod yn Gynghorydd Llafur ar Gyngor Dosbarth Kingswood a hithau ond yn 26 oed. Bu’n gwasanaethu ar bwyllgorau Polisi, Tai, Personél (Is-gadeirydd), Iechyd yr Amgylchedd a Chynllunio.

 

Hefyd, bu’n llywodraethwr ysgol enwebedig yr awdurdod lleol ar ran y Blaid Lafur mewn ysgolion cynradd ac uwchradd. Bu’n Gynghorydd Cymunedol Llafur ym Mhont-y-clun hefyd, lle’r oedd yn byw cyn cael ei hethol yn Aelod Cynulliad Merthyr Tudful a Rhymni. Hefyd, bu’n ymgeisydd Llafur dros ward Pont-y-clun ar gyfer etholiadau Cyngor Rhondda Cynon Taf yn 2004.

 

Mae Dawn wedi mynychu ac annerch cynadleddau Llafur Cymru a Llafur Prydain.